BBI Solutions announces the launch of two new SARS-Cov-2 Antigens

BBI Solutions announces the launch of two new SARS-Cov-2 Antigens as critical raw materials for IVD manufacturers developing next generation serological COVID-19 diagnostic kits.

BBI’s recently-acquired and well-respected team based in Freiburg, Germany (DIARECT GmbH) has developed two new recombinant antigen preparations produced in Baculovirus transfected Sf9 cells.

The antigens Nucleocapsid (N) protein and Spike (S) glycoprotein Receptor Binding Domain (RBD) have been designed as critical raw materials for next generation serological assays.

With the continuing COVID-19 vaccination programme, testing for antibody response will become increasingly important. Antibody tests detecting immune response to both the conserved and abundant nucleocapsid and the receptor binding domain that is unique for the SARS-CoV-2 will deliver physicians important information for disease management.

Serology testing is strongly suggested to play a major role in screening populations to determine exposure, as well as potential immunity, to identify recovering individuals as plasma donors as well as for research on immune response and to help identify neutralising antibodies (Amanat et al. 2020; Farnsworth and Anderson 2020; Okba et al. 2020).

BBI Solutions has seven manufacturing sites across three continents and has an established reputation as a leading manufacturer of biological reagents and finished test platforms for the in-vitro diagnostics market. The Lateral flow manufacturing centre of excellence in Wales, UK is also part of the UK-Rapid Test Consortium (UK-RTC). BBI Solutions has recently acquired the Germany-based specialist manufacturer of autoimmune, infectious disease and allergy antigens DIARECT last year. This is the first of a pipeline of new products.

BBI’s two novel antigens are produced and characterised in the company’s ISO 13485:2016 compliant laboratories in Freiburg, Germany.

Dr Mario Gualano, Chief Executive of BBI Group, said: “These recombinant antigens are a welcome addition to our product catalogue and complement our existing range. We were delighted that our expertise in Freiburg can add a further component to the support BBI can offer the IVD industry in the fight against this Pandemic.”

You can view the dedicated SARS-Cov-2 Antigens webpage and request a sample today here

Iceni Diagnostics appoint BBI to produce their Covid-19/Influenza test

Iceni Diagnostics has appointed BBI Solutions to generate clinical trial batches for their new, rapid SARS-COV-2/Influenza virus detection test. The test exploits the diagnostic company’s unique, proprietary HPGR™ (Host-Pathogen Glycan Recognition)  technology to detect the presence of live virus in non-invasive samples within 15 minutes.

The agreement between Iceni Diagnostics and BBI will transfer protocols to standard lateral flow equipment. This work will enable the generation of devices for clinical trials, with the expectation of moving to assay scale-up and manufacturing transfer.

BBI is an ISO 13485 accredited manufacturer and will work with Iceni Diagnostics to deliver the necessary information required for CE marking of the final product. In parallel, similar studies will be undertaken in the US through a comparable program with a US manufacturer.

Professor Rob Field (pictured), CEO of Iceni Diagnostics said: “We are delighted to be working with BBI on our rapid SARS-COV-2/Influenza diagnostic. BBI has a clear understanding of our unique HPGR™ technology, and we are confident they can help us meet our ambitious targets to get product to market as quickly as possible.

“We are excited about the potential of this test.  Our proprietary technology identifies intact virus, unlike most existing tests that identify viral genetic material.  This crucial difference means that a positive result is a key indicator that live, active virus is present, giving a clear signal of current infection, whether the patient has started to show symptoms or not. Significantly, the test may also identify asymptomatic carriers and thus limit virus spread. It will similarly give rapid clearance to those who need to return home or to their school or workplace but who may still be carrying inactive virus particles following infection.

“We are manufacturing a duplex test that differentiates between SARS-COV-2 and Influenza from one sample.  Covid-19 and human flu have similar symptoms so our test will be vital in supporting lockdown decisions during the winter flu season.

“The test is housed in a lateral flow device, with results available within 15 minutes. This makes it ideal to use as a rapid triage option to complement laboratory testing.

“Much interest is being generated worldwide and Iceni Diagnostics is heavily involved in generating the required investment to rapidly accelerate validation, manufacture and distribution to the global market.”

Dr. Mario Gualano, Chief Executive of BBI Group, said “BBI is delighted to extend our lateral flow development expertise to assist Iceni in translating their HPGR™ technology to market readiness for SARS-Cov2 and Influenza testing.

With BBI’s extensive experience in the In Vitro Diagnostics arena, we are confident that the Iceni Diagnostics technology offers significant potential benefits in pathogen detection while maintaining compatibility with an established, scalable and trusted lateral flow diagnostic platform.

We look forward to working together in further addressing the global challenges presented by COVID-19.”

BBI Solutions Confirms UK Government contract for UK-Rapid Test Consortium

Successful independent evaluation from PHE for COVID-19 lateral flow antibody test

CRUMLIN-BASED BBI Solutions, a leading manufacturer of biological reagents and finished test platforms for the in-vitro diagnostics market, notes the press release issued by the UK Rapid Test Consortium (“UK-RTC”), of which BBI Solutions is a partner, on the UK Government’s first order for one million COVID-19 lateral flow antibody tests (the “AbC-19™ Rapid test”).

This first order is part of the UK Government’s plans to roll-out COVID-19 surveillance studies to help build a picture of how the virus has spread across the country.

The AbC-19™ Rapid test uses a small drop of blood from a finger-prick, and shows results in 20 minutes, without the need for a patient sample to be sent to a laboratory.

The test is currently CE-Marked for professional use, and can be administered by healthcare professionals, such as doctors, nurses, pharmacists and healthcare workers, at the point-of-care. The UK-RTC are seeking approval from the MHRA for self-test use.

The consortium will draw on BBI Solutions’ rapid test development and expertise, as well as its wider manufacturing capabilities, primarily at its headquarters at Crumlin, South Wales, and its site in Edinburgh.

BBI Solutions is also working closely with healthcare providers to optimise its smartphone diagnostic reader to be used in conjunction with the test. BBI’s patented Novarum technology will guide users at home through performing a test before securely providing the results with their healthcare provider.

The UK-RTC is reproduced in full at the end of this statement.

Dr Mario Gualano, CEO, BBI Solutions, said: “I am delighted that the UK-RTC has now received its first contract from the UK Government for our COVID-19 lateral flow antibody test.

“We believe that the AbC-19™ Rapid test has the immediate opportunity to allow the UK to build a swift and clear picture of how the virus has spread throughout the population. It also has the potential to be deployed in conjunction with vaccine candidates to help assess initial immune responses.”

 


Press enquiries; Alastair Milburn, Effective Communication, amilburn@effcom.co.uk07813 857328

 

Press Release from the UK-RTC (issued on 6 October 2020)

 

UK-RTC AbC-19TM Rapid Test receives successful independent PHE evaluation

 

The UK Government has entered into a contract with Abingdon Health, on behalf of the UK-Rapid Test Consortium (“UK-RTC”), for the supply of the AbC-19TM Rapid Antibody tests. As part of the contract the UK Government has placed its first order for one million COVID-19 rapid antibody tests.

This follows an independent evaluation commissioned by the UK government of the AbC-19TM Rapid Antibody test, which will be published in full in due course by PHE, after peer review.   

The “AbC-19TM Rapid Test”, uses a small drop of blood from a finger-prick, and shows results in 20 minutes, without the need to go to a specialised laboratory. 

The test can be administered by healthcare professionals, such as doctors, nurses, pharmacists and healthcare workers, at the point-of-care.  It has already received the “CE mark”, which indicates health and safety conformity for goods sold in the UK and EU.     

The test will make it possible to build a swift and clear picture of how the virus has spread throughout the UK population. 

It will also be able to help establish the effectiveness of any vaccine which provides protection by creating new antibodies.  This information will be critical to managing current and future outbreaks of COVID-19.

Mass production is already under way. The antibody test will be rolled out under the government’s COVID-19 surveillance studies to help build a picture of how the virus has spread across the country. Surveillance studies are vital to develop our understanding of how antibodies work.

The UK Government helped to set up the UK Rapid Test Consortium and invested in the development of the tests.

Health Minister Lord Bethell said: “This home antibody test developed by our outstanding British scientists and researchers at the UK Rapid Test Consortium will provide critical insight into how the infection has spread, growing our understanding of coronavirus so that we can better respond to it.”

The test detects IgG antibodies to “full trimeric spike proteins” of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.  This means the test detects those antibodies which interfere with the virus’s ability to enter the human cells.

An extensive validation study performed by Ulster University involving over 1000 participant blood samples is currently under peer review for publication.

About the UK-RTC

The UK-Rapid Test Consortium was set up by Abingdon Health to bring together scientists and medical technology manufacturers to be able to deliver millions of test kits as quickly as possible.  By working together, some of the UK’s leading medical technology companies will deliver more volume more quickly to help fight Covid-19.

The UK Government supported the setup of the UK Rapid Testing Consortium and invested in the development of the rapid antibody tests.

The UK-RTC comprises Abingdon Health, the University of Oxford, Omega Diagnostics, BBI Solutions and CIGA Healthcare.

BBI creates new jobs to support next phase in COVID-19 home test development

BBI Solutions is recruiting for roles to support its work as part of a UK Government consortium, tasked with developing and manufacturing a Covid-19 Point of Care antibody test to support the government strategy on COVID-19 testing.

Four months ago, UK Government established the UK-Rapid Test Consortium (UK-RTC), in which BBI Solutions is a partner, to develop a COVID-19 lateral flow antibody test that can be used by people in their homes to determine if they have an antibody response to COVID-19, which would confirm previous infection.

This test together with the Government’s overall strategy on testing and vaccination mark a move towards detecting and eradicating the virus.

The successful completion of the development of the assay means BBI and its UK-Rapid Test Consortium (UK-RTC) partners require more staff to meet production demands in advance of final approval of the test by regulatory authorities.

BBI is investing in multiple roles at its manufacturing headquarters in Crumlin, South Wales, and these roles will be based in Manufacturing, Quality Control, Compliance, Technical Operations and Supply Chain.

Given the scale of the potential demand for the test within the UK, the Consortium will introduce a phased ramping up in capacity, but is making these key appointments in preparation for ensuring a smooth transition to high volume production at the manufacturing facilities by the end of the year.

This is a unique opportunity to join a progressive and growing organisation, which is contributing to South Wales and the UK’s resistance to the pandemic.

BBI Group Chief Executive Dr Mario Gualano said: “Given the difficult times we find ourselves in, we are delighted to announce vacancies. We have always valued our employees and they have been key to the speed at which our work with UK-RTC has progressed. We are pleased to be able to build on our team – these are exciting times for BBI and we envisage these key appointments playing their part in further developments with the Consortium.

“This is a very complex project that is being completed at extraordinary speed, compared to a normal test development programme.

“But we remain on track to deliver a test to the UK that will make a significant difference to the approach needed to manage COVID-19 infections.

“We are proud to be an integral part of this project and are thrilled with the progress to date.”

For further details on vacancies, please see https://www.the-bbigroup.com/careers/our-vacancies/

BBI Solutions Partners with Avacta Group PLC as COVID-19 Rapid Antigen Test Manufacturer

06/08/2020

BBI Solutions is pleased to announce it has been appointed to manufacture the saliva-based rapid SARS-COV-2 antigen test that is being developed by Affimer® biotherapeutics and reagents developer Avacta Group plc (AIM: AVCT) in conjunction with Cytiva.

South Wales based BBI Solutions is a leading global developer and manufacturer of raw materials and finished test products for the in-vitro diagnostics markewith manufacturing sites in five different countries, spanning four continents.

Dr. Mario Gualano, Chief Executive of BBI Group, said: “BBI are delighted to have been appointed to lead the manufacture of Avacta’s rapid coronavirus antigen test and to be able to further extend our lateral flow expertise to addressing the global challenges presented by COVID-19.

“Our ability to respond rapidly to Avacta’s needs is testament to our team’s diagnostic expertise and the supporting manufacturing and quality systems we have implemented at our ISO13485 accredited facility.”

The manufacturing agreement between BBI and Avacta announced today comprises accelerated development and validation of a scaled-up manufacturing process that has the potential to ramp up to a production capacity of millions of tests per month. Avacta, Cytiva and BBI are in the process of technology transfer of the prototype and related manufacturing procedures for the saliva-based rapid COVID-19 antigen test from Cytiva to BBI.

Avacta aims to begin clinical validation of the test as soon as possible by using the first pilot batches generated as part of the technology transfer process for these studies. In parallel with these clinical validation studies, which will be run within the UK government’s CONDOR programme and potentially with other collaborators globally, BBI will work with Avacta and Cytiva to produce the additional technical documentation that is required for CE marking of the final product.

Dr. Alastair Smith, Chief Executive of Avacta Group commented: “I am delighted to be working with BBI to manufacture the rapid coronavirus antigen test. BBI has been excellent to work with to define a highly compressed product development timeline that will allow us to get product to market as quickly as possible.

“We anticipate very high demand for the COVID-19 rapid test and will be working with our preferred manufacturing partners at BBI to satisfy that demand. We are actively continuing our discussions with other manufacturing partners to ensure that we have access to additional manufacturing capacity to address the global need for SARS-COV-2 antigen testing in the next few years.

“As we set out in the use of proceeds at the recent fund raising, we have now expanded our product development team with the appointment of an experienced in-vitro diagnostic Product Development Manager and we are expanding the protein production facilities in order to meet the expected demand for Affimer proteins the coronavirus tests and future diagnostic tests in the pipeline.

“The diagnostics business has also been working at a rapid pace towards ISO13485 accreditation, which will streamline CE marking and other regulatory approval processes.

“I am immensely proud of what has been achieved by Avacta’s diagnostics team. It would have been challenging under normal circumstances to have made such progress in just a few months, but with the additional restrictions imposed by COVID-19, it has been an outstanding example of hard work, ingenuity and commitment from a world-class team.

“I look forward to further updating the market as we go through the next stages of manufacturing scale-up, clinical validation, regulatory approval and product launch.”

This announcement contains information which, prior to its disclosure, was considered inside information for the purposes of Article 7 of Regulation (EU) No 596/2014 (MAR).

BBI Solutions welcomes consortium CE marking for professional use of its AbC-19™ Rapid Test

BBI Solutions has welcomed the UK-Rapid Test Consortium’s (UK-RTC) announcement that their COVID-19 lateral flow antibody test, designed for people to use within their own homes, has received approval to go to market for professional use.

The AbC-19TM Rapid Test has been recognised with a CE mark for professional use, after meeting the technical performance for a rapid test as stipulated by the MHRA (The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency.) This means that the test is now available for commercial distribution for use by professionals.

Dr Mario Gualano, Chief Executive of BBI Group, said: “We are incredibly pleased that the AbC-19™ Rapid test has achieved CE mark for professional use, following the high specificity and sensitivity attained in trial results.

“We remain on track to deliver a test to the UK population that will make a significant difference to the approach needed to manage COVID-19 infections.

“The achievement represents another key milestone for the UK-Rapid Test Consortium, and we are proud to be an integral part of this vital project.”

Three production scale batches of the product have undergone validation and verification, with the devices showing sensitivity of 98.03% (95% confidence interval 95.03% to 99.46%) to test performance and specificity of 99.56% (95% confidence interval 98.40% to 99.95%).

These figures have been calculated following analysis of a total of 450 samples taken from individuals pre-September 2019 (negatives) and 203 patients who had symptoms of COVID19, or tested positive for COVID-19, and tested positive by a commercially available Antibody ELISA test (EuroImmunTM). Results are from analyses performed at the Ulster University and Abingdon Health laboratories.

If the population is assumed to have a 10% incidence of COVID19, the AbC-19TM Rapid test shows a 99.40% accuracy and is ready for high volume manufacture by the UK-RTC.

As part of its role within the Consortium, Crumlin-based BBI Solutions’ patented smart based reader technology will guide users at home through performing a test before securely sharing the results directly with the NHS.

The process will help ensure that people who have never performed a test like this before get the right result and feel confident in understanding it, while making sure that the NHS receives all data from each test to help plan and manage the disease’s progression.

Following the CE mark accreditation, the next steps for the test include further independent evaluation and to seek performance study approval from the MHRA to facilitate the self-test usability studies to be performed with Ulster University, using around 2000 volunteers. The conclusion of this study will allow UK-RTC to seek allowance (derogation) for self-testing via the MHRA, which is expected in the coming months.

This complex project has been completed in a very short time period compared to a normal test development programme. The UK-RTC, of which BBI Solutions is a member, has been committed to delivering this vital test to the UK public, to assist in the management of COVID-19 infections and aid further understanding of the disease. The Consortium is now ready to provide this test.


For further information, contact Lydia Lambert, Effective Communication via llambert@effcom.co.uk and 07890 953402

Notes to editor:

  • Companies interested in distribution should register their interest at sales@uk-rtc.com
  • The “UK Rapid Test Consortium” (UK-RTC) comprises Oxford University, BBI Solutions, Abingdon Health, Omega Diagnostics and CIGA Healthcare.
  • The UK-RTC is utilising BBI Solutions’ rapid test development and expertise, as well as its wider manufacturing capabilities, primarily at its headquarters at Crumlin, South Wales, and its site in Edinburgh.

BBI Solutions welcomes consortium progress as COVID-19 antibody test reaches design freeze stage

BBI Solutions, part of the UK-Rapid Test Consortium (UK-RTC), has reached a ‘major milestone’ in the development of a COVID-19 lateral flow antibody test.

The UK-RTC has announced that it has reached design freeze for the test, which has been designed for people to use in their own homes.

The ‘major milestone’ means that the test meets the required performance characteristics and the producion specifications of the assay, or laboratory procedure, have now been set. The next stage will see the scale-up of processes this month, in readiness for manufacture.

Tests carried out prior to reaching the design freeze stage reported a 98.6% accuracy. The UK-RTC is continuing to work with the regulatory authorities to ensure approval of the test as quickly as possible.

As part of its role within the Consortium, Crumlin-based BBI Solutions continues its work to optimise its smartphone based reader technology for this application.

BBI’s patented technology will guide users at home through performing a test before securely sharing the results directly with the NHS.

The process will help ensure that people who have never performed a test like this before get the right result and feel confident in understanding it, while making sure that the NHS receives all the data from each test to help them plan and manage the disease’s progression.

Dr Mario Gualano, Chief Executive of BBI Group, said: “BBI have been at the forefront of using mobile technology to support point of care testing and the transformation that new technologies bring to this market.

“We are delighted to be part of the solution; from developing key components of the test to supporting manufacturing capacity and providing this pivotal mobile technology that will enable diagnostics to be delivered on a scale the UK has never seen before.”

 


For further information, contact Alastair Milburn, Effective Communication via amilburn@effcom.co.uk and 07813 857328

 

Notes to editor:

  • The “UK Rapid Test Consortium” (UK-RTC) comprises Oxford University, BBI Solutions, Abingdon Health, Omega Diagnostics and CIGA Healthcare.
  • The UK-RTC is utilising BBI Solutions’ rapid test development and expertise, as well as its wider manufacturing capabilities, primarily at its headquarters at Crumlin, South Wales, and its site in Edinburgh.
  • This latest milestone means that the test meets the required performance characteristics and the production specifications of the assay or investigative laboratory procedure, have now been established
  • BBI Solutions is also drawing on resource and expertise in other parts of the global BBI Group, in the United States, China and South Africa
  • More information about the Government announcement regarding the UK-RTC can be found here.

BBI SOLUTIONS WELCOMES UK-RAPID TEST CONSORTIUM COVID-19 PROGRESS

(Image; Dr Mario Gualano, Group CEO)

BBI Solutions has welcomed the ‘significant progress’ made by the UK-Rapid Test Consortium (UK-RTC) – of which it is a part – to develop a COVID-19 lateral flow antibody test.

Seven weeks ago, the UK Government commissioned the UK-RTC to develop a COVID-19 lateral flow antibody test that can be used by people in their homes.

The UK-RTC says it has made ‘significant progress’ in both developing the antibody test, as well as progress with the regulatory and logistics challenges needed to be able to deploy the test directly with individuals across the UK.

The Consortium has reported that it is now consistently picking up positive samples across the range, including weak positives, while ensuring negative samples are not detected.

It has conducted a small-scale study of 66 samples, and results suggest the test is performing in line with design requirements.

Later this month, the UK-RTC expects to reach design freeze – a binding decision among the consortium partners – which will allow it to move onto scale up, verification and validation activities, prior to the test being made available for manufacture.

In parallel with the above activities, the consortium is working with the UK Government and regulatory authorities to ensure proper approval of the test as quickly as possible.

The consortium is working with NHSX – the technology, digital and data service of the NHS – to develop a test specific app and digital service that will facilitate use and reading of the test device. This will have the ability to integrate with NHS systems and update records.

Given the scale of the potential demand for the test within the UK, critical planning around supply chain logistics is also well under way, which will ensure a smooth introduction of the test directly to the public.

Crumlin-based BBI Solutions is playing a key role as a consortium partner in the UK-RTC work, specifically in terms of leading on the development of the app, and providing critical reagents for the test.

BBI Group chief executive Dr Mario Gualano said: “This is a very complex project that is being completed at extraordinary speed, compared to a normal test development programme.

“But we remain on track to deliver a test to the UK that will make a significant difference to the approach needed to manage COVID-19 infections.

“We are proud to be an integral part of this project, and are delighted with the progress to date.”


For further information, contact Alastair Milburn, Effective Communication via amilburn@effcom.co.uk and 07813 857328

Notes to editor:

· The “UK Rapid Test Consortium” (UK-RTC) comprises Oxford University, BBI Solutions, Abingdon Health,  CIGA Healthcare and Omega Diagnostics.

· The UK-RTC is utilising BBI Solutions’ rapid test development and expertise, as well as its wider manufacturing capabilities, primarily at its headquarters at Crumlin, South Wales, and its site in Edinburgh.

· BBI Solutions is also drawing on resource and expertise in other parts of the global BBI Group, in the United States, China and South Africa.

· More information about the Government announcement regarding the UK-RTC can be found here.

Left; Damian Evans, Global Head of Quality. Right; Dr Mario Gualano, Group CEO

BBI Group completes Acquisition of DIARECT AG

(Image. Left; Damian Evans, Global Head of Quality. Right; Dr. Mario Gualano, Group CEO)

BBI Group, the world’s leading independent provider of immuno-diagnostic reagents and contract services, has today announced the acquisition of DIARECT, a leading supplier of autoimmune antigen products.

The acquisition of DIARECT and their world leading recombinant autoimmune antigen capability immediately enhances BBI’s portfolio and position as a ‘complete’ immunoassay reagent supplier and therefore a natural partner for our customers

This further enhances BBI’s position as the world’s largest diagnostics components company with a market leading antigen portfolio.

The UK-based business, which has manufacturing sites and sales offices across four continents, will integrate DIARECT’s state of the art manufacturing facility in Germany, to establish a Centre of Excellence for recombinant antigen development & manufacturing in Freiburg.

DIARECT has seen significant growth for its innovative product lines which are used in a wide variety of tests to assist in the diagnosis of various autoimmune and infectious diseases.

BBI Group Chief Executive Officer, Mario Gualano said:

“The acquisition of DIARECT immediately enhances our portfolio and positions BBI as a ‘complete’ immunoassay reagent supplier and therefore a natural partner for our customers.”

The combined capability enables BBI to further service high growth disease segments such as cancer, cardiac conditions and diabetes, while also enabling BBI to drive geographic expansion for DIARECT, which will benefit from a bigger sales force.

Heinz Haubruck, CEO and co-founding shareholder of DIARECT said:

“The combined research and development capability will provide our customers with new, innovative products. This and the expansion of our product portfolio will offer our customers a more comprehensive range of products”


Notes to Editors

· BBI Solutions is a leading manufacturer of biological reagents and finished test platforms for the in-vitro diagnostics market. BBI is a global business with manufacturing sites and sales offices across four continents.

· BBI’s range of raw materials includes human antigens, antibodies, serum and plasma products and clinical chemistry enzymes. BBI manufactures world renowned labels for lateral flow, ELISA assay and biosensors, including gold nanoparticles and glucose oxidase.

· BBI Solutions offers lateral flow development and manufacturing services with a core focus on antibody development, gold conjugation, lateral flow test manufacture and mobile diagnostic solutions with Novarum™ technology.

· BBI Solutions is part of the BBI Group.

www.bbisolutions.com www.diarect.com

Media Contact

Alastair Milburn (Effective Communication)

T: +44 (0)7813857328

E: AMilburn@effcom.co.uk

BBI Solutions responds to Government call-to-arms to roll out millions of coronavirus tests

Crumlin-based company part of consortium launched to develop new antibody tests

Government sets challenge to industry to help achieve 100,000 tests a day by end of April.

Crumin-based BBI Solutions has today (April 8) been announced as part of a consortium of the UK’s top Diagnostic companies to rapidly develop and rollout millions of coronavirus tests.

As part of the Government’s National Testing Plan, the expertise and resources of the UK’s world-leading life sciences industries are being pooled to build a large British diagnostics industry as quickly as possible.

The “UK Rapid Test Consortium, UK-RTC” comprises Oxford University, BBI Solutions, Abingdon Health, CIGA Healthcare, and has been launched to design and develop a new antibody test to determine whether people have developed immunity after contracting the virus.

All existing antibody tests that have gone through the validation process have not proven accurate enough, therefore the government is backing efforts to develop a home-grown test.

New national collaborations such as the UK-RTC will contribute to the Government’s wider target to carry out 100,000 tests a day by the end of April, focusing on frontline healthcare and other essential workers first before deploying the tests to the wider population.

The consortium will draw on BBI Solutions’ rapid test development and expertise, as well as its wider manufacturing capabilities, primarily at its headquarters at Crumlin, South Wales, and its site in Edinburgh.

The company will also draw on resource and expertise in other parts of the global BBI Group, in the United States, China and South Africa.

BBI Group CEO Dr Mario Gualano said: “BBI Solutions is honoured and privileged to be invited to be part of this consortium, and its critical work.”

“Utilising the resources and expertise across BBI Solutions’ global business, we are moving quickly and effectively to seek solutions that will enable the UK to rollout a significantly scaled-up coronavirus testing programme.”

More information about the Government announcement regarding the UK-RTC can be found here

For further information, contact Alastair Milburn, Effective Communication, amilburn@effcom.co.uk and 07813 857328.